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June 2016
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August 2016

Francoeur's homer leads Braves to series split with Phillies

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

Final: Braves 2, Phillies 1  ❖  Attendance: 21,545

Atlanta, GA - Thanks to a two-run homer off the bat of Jeff Francoeur in the seventh, the Atlanta Braves salvaged a series split with the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field by a score of 2-1. With the loss, the Phillies finish the month of July with a record of 13-14.

Jerad Eickhoff followed up a stellar outing his last time out with another strong showing this afternoon, but it was cut short by rain in the Phillies loss to the Braves. After allowing just one run in seven innings over his last start against the Marlins, Eickhoff cruised through five innings, throwing just 51 pitches and scattering two hits. 

The Phillies have a day off before hosting the San Francisco Giants for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. Zach Eflin and Madison Bumgarner are listed as the probables for game one of that series.

WP: Mauricio Cabrera (4-0, 2.70 ERA)  ❖  LP: Andrew Bailey (3-1, 6.40 ERA) ❖ SV: Jim Johnson (6)

Continue reading "Francoeur's homer leads Braves to series split with Phillies" »

Pederson Denies Making Changes to Carson Wentz's Throwing Mechanics

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson stepped to the podium on Sunday before his team practiced for about two hours in front of their fans. Pederson was asked whether his team would normally train for three hours like they did on Saturday.

"Yeah, today’s a little shorter, today is a little over two [hours]. A normal football game is three hours long, so why not start right now and get them in game-ready shape."

Continue reading "Pederson Denies Making Changes to Carson Wentz's Throwing Mechanics" »

2016 Training Camp Report: Carson Wentz's Accuracy Manifests at The Linc

The Philadelphia Eagles were back home at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday as they welcomed fans to get a first-hand look at the revamped Eagles roster. Sunday’s practice theme was "Kids Run the Show," with young fans having the opportunity to participate in the practice session with their favorite Eagles.

Eagles coaches were keeping a close eye on cornerback Nolan Carroll, who was back in action today after leaving Saturday’s practice with a sore ankle.

After not immediately getting up to finish a play on Saturday, cornerback Jalen Mills was on the receiving end of defensive backs coach Cory Undlin’s vitriol.

Continue reading "2016 Training Camp Report: Carson Wentz's Accuracy Manifests at The Linc" »

VIDEO: Dario Saric scores 18, grabs eight rebounds against France

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia 76ers will finally have Dario Saric on their roster this season after aquiring him in a draft night trade with the Magic back in 2014. Saric flew to Philadelphi, signed a contract and met with the media before heading back to Croatia to prepare for the Olympics that are upcoming in Rio. 

Saric, 22,  was recently named the Most Valuable Player of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. In the final game of the tournament, an 84-78 overtime win for his native Croatia, Saric scored 18 points, grabbed 13 rebounds while also dishing out two assists and tallying two steals.

On Saturday night, Saric's Croatian team matched up against France in an Olympic exhibition game and the 6-foot-10 forward was all over the place, scoring 18 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Check out highlights of the game below, which ended in a 76-70 win for Croatia.

This past season, Saric averaged 11.7 points and 5.8 rebounds for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball Super League. He shot 50 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from beyond the arc, which is a huge jump from the 30.6 percent from the 2014-15 season.


Giants sent two scouts to watch Hellickson's start in Atlanta

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

With the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline one day away, talks are heating up around the league. The center of Phillies trade talks has been 29-year-old right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Acquired from the Diamondbacks on November 14, 2015 for minor leaguer Sam McWilliams, Hellickson has been a steady arm in the Phillies rotation for a majority of the season, especially as of late. That has gotten several teams interested, primarily the Marlins at first, but now, the Tigers, Giants and Rangers are among a number of teams that could deal for Hellickson.

According to Robert Murray of Today's Knuckleball, the San Francisco Giants had two scouts in attendance on Saturday night during Hellickson's start in Atlanta. In addition, scouts from the Yankees, Rangers and even the Cardinals and Pirates were on hand.

Among the teams with scouts at Jeremy Hellickson’s start tonight against the Atlanta Braves include the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Miami Marlins, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals, league sources tell Today’s Knuckleball.

The Giants have two scouts at the game, I’m told.

The Giants rotation currently consists of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Jake Peavy and Matt Cain. While those five have all had impressive careers, Samardzija is sporting a 4.30 ERA, Peavy is up at 5.47 and Cain sits at 5.97. So, despite the names, they are in need of an upgrade and Hellickson can provide that.

Meanwhile, it may seem surprising that the Marlins sent a scout to Atlanta, considering they acquired Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea from the Padres earlier in the week. They could be in the market for a starter again though, with Rea's recent start being cut short due to elbow soreness.

Hellickson pitchd 5.2 innings and gave up three runs while also driving in two runs with a double to help his cause in Saturday's win against the Braves. Overall, he's 8-7 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.150 WHIP, which is his best since 2010 as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Rays.

With series win in sight, Phillies send Eickhoff to the mound

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

Atlanta, GA - The Philadelphia Phillies sent nine men to the plate in the eighth inning on Saturday night without registering a hit, leading to a 9-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. That feat had not been accomplished for the team since 1992.

With just one day to go until the trade deadline, Jeremy Hellickson put together an okay start yesterday against the Braves, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings while dealing with a bruised pitching hand. In addition to the Blue Jays and Orioles, you can now add the Tigers to the list of suitors that have interest in the 28-year-old righty.

This afternoon, the Phillies will look to close out the series with a win in Atlanta behind Jerad Eickhoff, who has good career numbers against the Braves. He'll be opposed by Joel De La Cruz, who is making his first start since July 4 against the Phillies.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (48-58) Atlanta Braves (36-68)
RHP Jerad Eickhoff RHP Joel De La Cruz
(3-8, 3.83 ERA) (0-3, 4.66 ERA)

Continue reading "With series win in sight, Phillies send Eickhoff to the mound" »

Eagles Need Eric Rowe to Step up in Starter Competition

As training camp continues, one of the major questions surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles defense is which two cornerbacks will open the regular season as the team's starters.

Veterans Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll, along with last year's second-round pick Eric Rowe, are all in competition with one another for the two spots.

While the competition is open, the ideal scenario for the Eagles would be to see Rowe step up and lock down one of the starting positions.

Continue reading "Eagles Need Eric Rowe to Step up in Starter Competition" »

Phillies rumors: Tigers scout Hellickson, club's asking price for Velasquez revealed

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

ATLANTA — With the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline just one day away, rumors surrounding two Philadelphia Phillies starters — right-handers Jeremy Hellickson and Vince Velasquez — are starting to pick up in momentum.

One potential suitor for Hellickson, the Miami Marlins, no longer has interest after acquiring right-handers Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea and Tayron Guerrero from the San Diego Padres in exchange for former Phillies prospect Jarred Cosart, right-hander Carter Capps and minor-leaguers Luis Castillo and Josh Naylor.

According to Jim Salisbury of, however, another suitor for Hellickson has emerged: the Detroit Tigers, who were attendance at Hellickson's 22nd start of the season Saturday evening at Turner Field where he allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk en route to his eighth victory as a Phillie.

Continue reading "Phillies rumors: Tigers scout Hellickson, club's asking price for Velasquez revealed" »

Phillies, Hellickson top Braves with non-waiver trade deadline looming

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Final: Phillies 9, Braves 5  ❖  Attendance: 38,236

ATLANTA —  In what could be his final start with the Philadelphia Phillies (48-58) ahead of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline, right-hander Jeremy Hellickson earned his eighth victory of the season in opposition of the MLB-worst Atlanta Braves (36-68) Saturday evening at Turner Field.

Hellickson surrendered three runs on nine hits and a walk in five and two-thirds innings, while the Phillies offense put together nine runs on nine hits in topping Brian Snitker's Braves, 9-5. The Phillies have now won two of the first three games of the series, outscoring Atlanta 17-12.

The game's first run came via a one-out single in the top of the second by catcher Cameron Rupp, scoring first baseman Ryan Howard from second following his leadoff double.

The Phillies maintained their 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third. After striking out opposing pitcher RHP Julio Teheran to start the frame, Hellickson allowed four singles and two runs over his next five batters faced. The two RBI singles came from right fielder Nick Markakis and third baseman Adonis Garcia, their 52nd and 33rd RBIs of the season, respectively.

Hellickson would help his own cause in the top of the fifth. After Rupp singled to left, securing his 17th multi-hit game of the season, and left fielder Cody Asche singled to right, Hellickson doubled down the left field line to bring both runners home and regain the lead, 3-2. It was his first career double out of 98 plate appearances and 78 at-bats.

One inning later with the bases loaded, shortstop Freddy Galvis hit a two-RBI single to center, increasing the Phillies' lead to 5-2. The Braves added a run the next half-inning, decreasing their deficit to two runs via a RBI single by catcher Anthony Recker.

In the top of the eighth, the Phillies scored four insurance runs to grab a 9-3 lead. All four runs were scored without a single hit in the inning, with walks by pinch hitters Tyler Goeddel and Taylor Featherston, second baseman Cesar Hernandez and center fielder Odubel Herrera and a hit-by-pitch of right fielder Aaron Altherr. Herrera and Altherr's at-bats both occurred with the bases loaded, thus securing their 37th and third RBIs respectively for the season. The other two runs came home after third baseman Maikel Franco reached safely on an error by Garcia.

The Braves scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth against RHP Severino Gonzalez. RHP Jeanmar Gomez threw a scoreless ninth on 18 pitches, capturing the Phillies' 48th victory.

Game Notes:

  • Hernandez walked three times in the victory. He now has eight walks this series over 16 plate appearances.
  • Galvis stole his 10th base of the season, matching his 2015 total in 48 less games.
  • During the game, the Braves acquired two-time All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp and $10-12 million from the San Diego Padres in exchange for OF/3B Hector Olivera. Olivera, who is still owed $25.5 million, will reportedly be designated for assignment by San Diego, according to Bob Nightengale. Olivera is nearing completion of his 82-game suspension by Major League Baseball after being charged with misdemeanor assault and battery of a woman at the team's Arlington, Virginia hotel in April. Kemp has seven seasons in his 11-year career with 20 or more home runs.

Phillies RHP Jerad Eickhoff — who has lost three consecutive decisions — will take the mound Sunday afternoon in the series finale. It will be the Phillies' fourth-to-last contest at Turner Field, a venue in which they are 82-87 all-time. Eickhoff is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 18 strikeouts over four career starts (26 IP) against the Braves. (Time: 1:35 p.m.; TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP).

Continue reading "Phillies, Hellickson top Braves with non-waiver trade deadline looming" »

Ruben Amaro would 'love' another shot at being general manager

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

In a piece comparing the differences between the trade deadline as a general manager and as a coach, current Boston Red Sox first base coach and former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. left the door open on whether his future will be as an executive or coach. 

While Amaro seems pretty content as a coach, being a first base coach certainly isn't his end game. While Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported last off-season that Amaro was attempting to transition into a manager, Amaro told Cafardo this weekend that the chance to potentially be a general manager again would interest him: 

Continue reading "Ruben Amaro would 'love' another shot at being general manager" »